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SSTN # 86 - August 6, 2003

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--> Super Heroes of the Bible

1) Church in Turmoil
2) Colossians 1:9
3) Church in Turmoil   
4) Increased Sunday School Offerings

--> "His Name Shall Be Called..."

5) Pain Staff
6) Training team for children's church?
7) Pennies and Ribbon offerings
8) Stomp for the Lord/Praise Dance   

--> God's Top 10

9) Angel Breakfast
10) Crafts for older kids   
11) Church in Turmoil
12) Paid children staff        

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--> Super Heroes of the Bible

This special midweek program examines the lives of some famous
and not-so-famous people who had willing hearts to obey God.
And by obeying him, they were used in miraculous and powerful
ways to help change the course of human history. It is the goal of this
series to build FAITH, COURAGE, and OBEDIENCE in the lives of children,
and to change the world for Jesus Christ.

To learn more, go to this page:
(you may need to copy and paste this address to your browser)

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1) Church in Turmoil   

Our church went through turmoil just last year with pastoral changes. When
things are forced, it is always an ugly scene. It sounds like you are
doing the right things. You are trying to improvise to keep things going.
But, you are also spinning because you are right in the middle of it all.
My best suggestion would be to get a few of your “volunteers”, reluctant
or not, and have a prayer meeting with them – at your house if you have to
in order to separate from the troubles of the church. Bring God directly
back into the process. Don’t fill another role until you do this. You have
probably already prayed your heart out but now you HAVE to involve others
in that. What you will find is that hearts begin to soften. Now, you
probably will have to BEG people to come to your prayer meeting – but do
whatever you can to get them there. Make it clear that you are praying for
the children of the church – not the programs (these come and go), not the
lack of volunteers (you are relying on God now to fill or not fill –
remember He has His own plans). Pray earnestly that the children of the
church will have their hearts reached for God through you and the others
at the meeting. Pray that he will guide you in building relationships with
parents. Have them pray for YOU, that you will have peace in your heart
and that God will give you the wisdom to make changes that are necessary.
Whatever you do, do NOT fill vacant slots with people who are grudgingly
going to do the job. This will undo everything you are trying to do in
getting a quality program going. But also, do not fill every role
yourself. Ask God to provide and have patience. It may not be filled by
the first week you need it to. But he may be bringing someone you never
thought of to fill it. Trust and wait. It’s very hard. One week we simply
did not have Children’s Church. My pastor backed me on this. Then someone
volunteered. Also, don’t expect long commitments. It’s hard on the
stability aspect but if people want to help for a short time, you never
know what they may do for you later after getting a taste! Encouraging
people to focus on the children of the church is also a great way to
divert their adult issues and come together for a better reason. I hope
everyone who read your post will be praying for you now!

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2) Colossians 1:9

Hi Brenda,
Pray to God that He would reveal to you the knowledge of His will with all
spiritual wisdom and understanding. (Colossians 1:9)
Jennifer in San Diego

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3) Church in Turmoil   

This letter concerns me.  The church certainly is in a turmoil, and I do
not have the solution, but I would ask myself if I were part of the
problem.  I can't see going to the former pastor and elders even if the
present one is facing a personal crisis.  Does anyone in that church
REALLY PRAY? What could be accomplished by going to people who left the
church?  What is the motive?

And who decides who is a qualified teacher?  Concerning both pastors and
teachers, 1 Cor. 12 and Eph. 4 make it clear it is God who appoints and
gifts people to teach and preach. I am very careful to watch what I even
THINK about our pastor--God has him there until He Himself decides he
should move on.

It makes me sad to hear of so many disatisfied with their brothers and
sisters in Christ; how much more it must grieve the Holy spirit.

Helen Setser

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4) Increased Sunday School Offerings

Why not try something different? Last year we encouraged the children
(actually, we encouraged the entire congregation whether they attended
Sunday School or adult bible class) to bring a designated physical
offering. Every month we chose a particular cause to donate to. i.e.,
September, was back-to-school supplies for local shelters, another month
we requested paper products for shelters (t.p., baby wipes, paper towels,
paper plates, etc.), another month we requested jars of peanut butter or
jelly for a local food bank, another month we requested children's cold
remedies which were sent to Burma, and the list goes on. I think a
physical offering is more hands-on than a monetary offering. Good luck and
try something different!
Pat Butler
Fort Wayne IN

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"His Name Shall Be Called..."

The God of the Old and New Testament is known by many names. These names
help us to understand his nature and reputation. They define him as
Protector, Defender, Friend, Advisor, Judge, and Savior to name just a
few. The Third Commandment says, "Do Not Misuse God’s Name". "His Name
Shall Be Called..." contains fun crafts, games, and lessons to teach
respect and honor for God to the children in your ministry. Free USA

To learn more, go to this page:
(you may need to copy and paste this address to your browser)

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5) Paid staff   

At our church, we have a lady who has been the director of the children's
group for many years.  She seems to work tirelessly, remembering every
child's name, never losing her temper, taking on directing activities at
our church camp, while adopting a teenage child.  She is the first to
volunteer, to take really yummy food to those who are ill (I know this
personally) and always meets the needs of volunteer Sunday School staff
(I'm a SS teacher.)She could probably earn a great deal of money working
out in "the world."  She may not earn an equal amount from our church.
But, why not?  Her family has needs,too.   She's truly a gift from God,
and I know she will receive a great reward in Heaven.  In the meantime,
any monetary reward on this earth is well-deserved!If any church out there
has someone like this and doesn't reward them, they had better wake up ask
for forgiveness!  And don't put a check in the mail...deliver it in
person, with a well-deserved "thank you."  Don't wait, you may be too
late! --C

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6) Training team for children's church?

I am trying to start a team of 5th and 6th graders who want to take part
in the planning of programs for children's church, i.e. puppets, etc. I
need some ideas on how to plan to train them for the job they want to do,
and I thought maybe someone could help. I thought there was a similar
post, but I could not find the author. Please help me if you can. Linda B

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7) Pennies and Ribbon offerings   

Once we used pennies as an offering.   We used a red ribbon and started at
one corner of the room and went all the way around the walls and met back
at the beginning.  Each child brought pennies....which were hot glued onto
the ribbon. Even children that were unable to get money from their parents
were able to join in because so many pennies can be found on the ground
and elsewhere. Once the ribbon was full we started again! Each time we
completed a ribbon we would throw a small party (usually kool-aide and
cookies during the class time) and decide what the money would be used
for...missions, new book for the library, a new toy for the nursery,  etc.
IA ribbon for each type of coin could be used and what ever coins the
children brought could be glued into place.  Pennies seemed to work the
best though, since moms and dads, and everyone else just toss them

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8) Stomp for the Lord/Praise Dance?

I am a youth Pastor wife of a group of 25 and it has been brought to my
attention that 7 of the youth girls age 13-16 would like to do a Stepp
(stomp) dance to Christine music. I'm by no means a choreographer or
dancer. Does anyone have any advise or can lead me to any materials or a
curriculum behavior it requires the movements and dance? OR can point me
to a website. I'm needing some help any would be valuable. I would like to
know what I am committing to. I also have a problem with clicks within the
girls. IS THERE ANY suggestion?

Thank you and God Bless

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God's Top 10: Understanding God's Love In The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments contain many "Do Nots". They teach us God’s holy
standard and show us how far we fall short of his perfection. But they are
more than this; in these "Do Nots", one can find a positive message: a
message of God’s love. (Developed by Sarah Keith for Kindergarten to 5th
grade) Click below to learn more:


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9) Angel Breakfast   

To Darlene B, Taylor Mi

The first Saturday in December every year we hold an Angel Breakfast.  It
is designed for children ages 3-fifth grade AND their families.  Yes, this
is a family event.  In our fellowship hall, we begin with a pancake (and
quiche for the parents) breakfast and singing and praising God.  Then
families move to various "centers" where they create usually two crafts,
hear the story or see a play or skit about the birth of Jesus or some
other Advent-appropriate production, maybe meet and talk with the Holy
Family, and even stop for a family photo moment complete with backdrop
that matches the "theme".  We started the first year with our theme being
the "Angel" but have also done "Baby Jesus", the shepherds, the Holy
Family and the animals.  (For that one, we "rented" a camel, cow and
donkey for the kids to pet.  It was a big hit!)  The event runs from 9-12
and families move through at their own pace.  Volunteers (both adult and
youth - some of your best helpers) staff every station and help the
children as needed.  Families are encouraged to attend and participate
with their kids so DON'T ask those folks with young children to volunteer.
You want them to attend.  We sell tickets for the event for usually $5
per child (no charge for adults) to cover our costs and have a maximum of
125 tickets we can sell (once you include family, the number of people
attending can grow to more than 300).  We also create centerpieces to put
on the tables that the congregation can purchase after the event.  We set
a minimum price for the centerpiece but people are encouraged to give
whatever they want for the piece.  (We've done decorative candles with
pottery animals, a fabric mache Mother of Jesus, and several other items.
This is also a big hit.  Volunteers make them over several months PRIOR to
the event.)  We do little decorating other than the tables.  It's a
wonderful and very special time of year for our children and helps to keep
their focus on the REAL meaning of Christmas.

Feel free to email me at rmichalochick@vbumc.org for more information or
to talk further.  God bless in your efforts.

Reesee M.
Virginia Beach, Virginia

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10) Crafts for older kids   

> Now, I have a idea to throw out there to everyone.  In VBS the 5th
> 9th graders all do crafts together.  Does anyone have any challenging

I just recently returned from directing a camp for fourth, fifth and sixth
graders and had several craft ideas that went over really well.
We made bracelets with three strands on the day we talked about strength
coming from God. It comes straight out of the Bible, Ecclesiastes 4:12: "A
cord of three strands can never be broken." All you have to do is tie
embroidery thread in knots, tying so that the knots are right next to each

Another craft that had rave revues from the kids was punched "tin"
candleholders. The explanation is too long for this, but I'd be happy to
send them to you. It really is an easy craft and kids beat out their
aggressions on it. After they finished, we used the candleholders on the
altar for worship. The kids got a huge kick out of it.
Hope this helps. If you want the directions for the candleholders, email
at aprather@stpaulabilene.org
Grace and peace, Amy

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11) Church in Turmoil

Dear Confused & Exhausted,
It sounds to me like you have more than enough qualified people
if your church is running 300 people.  It sounds like they just want to
attend the services, but not actually get around to serving.  Talk to
your pastor and ask him if he could theme a few sermons around
stewardship, and that there are ideas that you'd like to try to spur
people to help out.  Stewardship really is more than time, talent and
treasures; it is a condition of the heart.  If you haven't already done
so, make sure that the entire church knows of your needs.  And after
consulting with your pastor and gaining his support, inform the
congregation that if these needs are not met, then there is no choice
but to cancel the programs due to lack of volunteers.  This may seem
drastic, but a few Sundays with all those children in the morning
worship service will make everyone aware of the need for help.  I'm not
saying that children are bad, they are just energetic, and sitting
through an adult service will be difficult for them to do quietly.  Yes,
you might lose some, but it sounds like that is already happening.  God
bless you!

Teresa in Michigan 

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12) Paid children staff        

> I am amazed by some of the things people are saying in regard to
> the children. (As am I!!)  Yes, it is amorous work, and no you cant
> do it on your own

Wait a minute - I think she's got something there - what do I need to do
to get this added to my job description???!!
Amorously yours,
Kit ;-)

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